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4th July

I have been meaning to get to the Goodwood Festival of SpeedRemote site for ages. I had no excuses this year. My daughter was competing in another Ballroom and Latin dance competition and I was tasked with entertaining my car mad son. My best friend had just offered me some free VIP tickets to the event.

Rather than get up silly early, we decided to take a more leisurely drive down on the Saturday evening. It was very last minute but, I eventually found a room in a B&B, about 8 miles from the venue. This turned out to be a rather nice litle place to stay the night and we got there in time to watch the World Cup match :-)

We had a full English breakfast at 7am and were parked up in the grounds by 7.30am. Our car parking ticket rather handily gave us access via gate 4. This meant it was only as short stroll to the entrance, rather than the longer walk from some of the other car parks.

Formula 1 Paddock

The first area we arrived in was the Formula 1 paddock. This was a fascinating mixture of old and new cars. Took far too many pictures to put up here. There were a lot of cars from Classic Team Lotus.

Lotus F1 stand This was the Lotus F1 stand. It wasn't as cold as their outfits make it look!

Exhibitors Area

In the exhibitors area there were a huge number of manufacturer's stands. When we arrived here it was really quiet but it got much busier as the morning went on. In fact one ofthe biggest issues I had was the number of people and mobile phones made it near impossible to make a phone call, never mind send a tweet or three!

Mazda MX5 The MX5 is celebrating its 20th year. And they have launched this limited edition light-weight version. Interesting how some companies are now focussing on light weight!

Lotus

Like me, everyone on the stand seemed to want to know why all the cars were left-hand drive?

Lotus Evora I've got a thing about white cars at the moment. I have also just bought a new car in white, due for delivery later this month :-) The Lotus Evora looks fantastic in white. I really must find some time to get a ride in one. It almost looked practical too :-)
Lotus Evora The Elise SC also looks really good in white.
Lotus Evora This is the first time I've sat in an Elise for over 4 years! The sports seats were more of a squeeze than the GRP Tillet seats in my Fury and a less supportive. Maybe I've been spoilt but, in a sports car I want seats that your sit in rather than on. The Elise has definately moved on though. The interior is more upmarket than my old S1 car and it works well for it. After all this time, getting in and out felt a bit awkward. I'm sure its a familiarity thing but, getting in and out of my Fury seems easier and that's got no doors.

If getting in and out of the Elise was tough, I was glad no one was watching when I got in to the Exige on the stand. It was comical! I'm sure there is a better technique than the one I employed.

Morgan

There is something beautiful about the curves on the Morgan Aerosports car. It's a car you can be happy just to look at. None of my photos really did it justice though :-(

Sunday Times Supercar Paddock

This was one of the best areas for me, yet also one of the smallest 'zones' in the show:

Alfa 8C I was standing next to this car and noticed someone standing close by in racing overalls. He is probably famous but, I didn't know who he was :-( I asked him if he was the driver and if he would mind starting the car for me, so we could listen to the engine. Top man that he was, he kindly oblidged. The bark from this car is simply awesome. I wish I'd taken a video now. I really have a soft spot for this little car. In white it looks fantastic! If I had the money for a car collection, this would be in it. I also asked if he needed a passenger.
Alfa 8C on track The same car on track a bit later driven by the man that kindly started the engine for me.
Tesla The Tesla was a surprise for me. It's a lot better looking in the flesh than the pictures. Had a brief chat with the guys on the stand and you can buy this car in the UK now. In fact this very car was being collected by its new owner later in the day.
Zonda Whilst standing in between to Zonda's (how often can you get to do that?!), I thought I recognised the man in front of me. You can just see him in the background of this photo. It's Harry MetcalfeRemote site of EVO Magazine fame and one of the two cars was his. I was also going to ask him to start it up for me but he was busy talking to a good looking lady. Next time I looked around, he had walked off :-(

Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen interview In the 'Dunlop' arena Heikki was being interviewed. One of my friends was interviewed in the exact same seat the day before.

McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren MP4-12C I love this car! It's one of the most technically innovative cars to come along in ages. The Lotus Elise was radical with its aluminium tub but McLaren have made a similar step forward in the way they have made the main tub out of carbon fibre. The engineering is simply stunning for a car at this price point. I am not biased for having a friend that works for McLaren Automotive at all! ;-)
McLaren MP4-12C carbon fibre tub I took so many pictures of this car. There are just so many engineering details to admire. Out of all the cars I saw today, this is the one I would buy if I had the money.

Videos

I shot a few videos on my iPhone 4:

Video of some of the cars leaving the supercar paddock:

Video of some of the Rally cars leaving the paddock:

Motorbikes

As well as cars, there are a lot of motorbikes at the Goodwood Festival of Speed:

Motorcycle stunt rider This stunt rider was quite amazing. How he stayed on the bike I don't know.

Hospitality Suite

One advantage of have friends in the industry, was easy access and views to the track from within the hospitality suites (that and free drinks!).

Lunch

One of the highlights for us was getting to go inside Goodwood House and have lunch in the marquee behind the house. The food was a three-course meal with wine and was really very good.

We also had access to the balcony, which over looks the track in front of the house ...

Classic Lotus racer Some amazing classic racers too!
Modern F1 car And modern F1 cars.
Vulcan There was a fair bit of aerial entertainment too!
Ferrari 458 This car caught my eye too. Lovely!

Summary

Our journey back was as easy as our trip down. The hardest part was finding our way out of the car park now that so many cars had joined us.

All in all, this was one of the best motorsport events I've ever been to. Well worth the 300+ mile round trip. The atmosphere was amazing and the diversity of cars truly awesome. No where else can you get to see such a dazzling array of exotica and get close enough to touch it and peer through the windows. The whole event is all the better for being full of enthusiasts at every level, from F1 drivers to guys that just want to share their cars with the public. I'll be back next year.

The only marque that seemed under represented was Aston Martin in my view. I can but dream, but I thought my Fisher Fury R1 would have looked and sounded the business screaming up the track, bouncing off the limiter at 11,750rpm. I'm just waiting for the invite from Lord March himself. Perhaps if I offer to sort out his mobile network and Wi-Fi coverage problems? :-)

PS. The above is a small sample of photographs and videos. In total we took nearly 600!

11th July

F1 at Silverstone today. Team Lotus seem to be improving a lot and are not far off the leader's pace now. There are quite a few interesting people and accounts on Twitter worth following:

Any others?


 
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